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01/19/2012

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This was a rather surprising announcement, especially in that he either chose not to resign, or was not given the option to do so. Given his history with the university, I would have expected resignation to be the chosen route, rather than termination. As an MSU student, I am interested to see what the board of trustees will do moving forward to make clear the distinction in leadership style between Dr. Polk and the succeeding President, and the subsequent implications on organizational direction and culture.

I was an employee of an educational institution that went through "show cause" and eventually lost its accreditation. Now being a student at an institution on "show cause" I am concerned. Sacking a president is not a solution if the accademic concerns of the accrediting body are justified. As a student this is a major issue. To wake up one day and realize that the institution you were going to graduate from no longer exist is a frightening prospect. I do hope that the powers that be do not make the mistake of my old employer and keep the employees and student in the dark. I have learnt that whereas the buck stops at the President's desk, the root cause of most of the problems in cases of this nature are administrators who remain in the same positions long after the President is gone and who continue to operate the University in the same manner that got us in this mess in the first place.

Do not think for a minute that sacking the President means all is well. "Show cause " is a death sentence if not resolved quickly and adequately. Let us hope this termination is not window dressing but the first step in resolving what appears to be serious concerns.

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